Recipes for life

Dear CSA members,

Six months and by all accounts, we have quite a way to go. There’s grief and there’s fatigue of grief. It is no different with us, gratitude notwithstanding. There’s some grace to be received through “these crazy vegetables,” Sandra says. Some education into the life of things resistant to uniformity, to predictability, to… identification (teehee). “You don’t need to be the same person every day.” Cara says. Indeed, why must we subject ourselves to industrial vegetable standards? Our flavors change! Conditions matter like heat, acid, fat, pandemic. We can be sweet, sour, bitter or crunchy.. and all end up in the same trashbin cake.

The strange heat and rain combination has been difficult, with pests claiming larger parts of the harvest. The wisdom of the garden suggests to grow many different kinds of crops for balance and harmony as even pests have some unseen purpose in the scheme of things.

He said not ‘Thou shalt not be tempested, thou shalt not be travailed, thou shalt not be dis-eased’; but he said, ‘Thou shalt not be overcome.”

― Julian of Norwich, Revelations of Divine Love

Have the pests overriden your spirit? The vegetables know how you feel. Alas, we have hug-in-a-bowl options to recommend! White corn polenta with eggplant sauce (if we shall ever see white corn from Bulacan again this season) Turmeric brown rice lugaw with quarantine kimchi, miso oatmeal with tortang talong and squash black rice risotto with buttered leeks

Still, September gives us strange gifts: yacon, pears, tamarillo, Ate Celia, Kuya Luis and Joyce! Here is how to celebrate each one:

Yacon syrup as a natural low glycemic sweetener, with a delightful savory tinge. Joyce discovered the method last year and she and Cara have been waiting for this time just to make more. Great on pancakes, ice cream, suman, steamed cassava balls, off a spoooon.

Tamarillo and pears have found their destiny in this amazing chutney by Meanne. It’s perfect with this memorable meal of squash chipotle chili (with fragrant beans), red rice, fresh green ice lettuce, cashew cream, CURTIDO (not optional) wrapped in Cara’s expert kamote roti. It’s the meal that made Mabi cry. If what you need right now is a drink, try Ernest’s tamarillo digestivo or PJ’s tamarillo jam bourbon cocktail.

Ate Celia and Kuya Luis! Definitely homemade chocolate keyk with ice cream, asian peanut pancit sent by Mabi and lettuce triage. After 6 months of quarantine, we’ve finally decided to let them ease back into work. Ate was so happy to be working again, we had many tears.

Joyce joyce joyce, the strangest gift of all. We celebrated this one with the long-awaited coconut ice cream sandwiches and cinnamon roll from Manilabake. And the super corn polenta with eggplant sauce.

We celebrate to celebrate: we are still here. Small mercies. Despite all the uncertainty around us, we are keeping over 35 farmers alive, we are sustaining community kitchens (updated impact report here), we are keeping solidarity and our spirits alive. We are nourished by your words, by the tampipis you send back, by the solidarity shares you choose to give. “It makes my heart happy.” says Toni. It does. Thank you.

PS Our movement is from person to person, kitchen to kitchen, bridging one life to another. If you have friends you’d like to share this with please do! We have a gift to make it sweeter for both of you.


Published by goodfoodcommunity

Good Food Community is an alternative distribution system based on ethical and ecological farming that transforms consumers into co-producers.

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